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Michael Noori Wins World Series of Poker Monster Stack

High-Stakes Pro From California Denies Ryan Leng Second Title of the Series, Earns Career-Best $610,437


California high-stakes poker pro Michael Noori masterfully navigated a short stack at the final table to earn his first World Series of Poker bracelet in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em monster stack.

Noori, who infamously lost a prop bet about whether he could eat $1,000 worth of fast food in March 2017, defeated a massive field of 3,520 entries to secure a career-best score of $610,437. He defeated Ryan Leng heads-up to deny Leng his second bracelet of the series, third of the year and fourth of his career.

Leng earned $377,220 for his runner-up finish and jumps into the top 60 of the Card Player Player of the Year race. Noori earned added 1,100 points to his own cause in that same race.

Before his massive score, Noori’s largest tournament cash was $74,634 from his fourth-place finish in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em/pot-limit Omaha mix event at the 2016 WSOP. After his win on Tuesday night, Noori’s career tournament earnings jumped to $1.345 million.

“I feel pretty good. I’m still kind of in shock,” said Noori to WSOP live reporters after the win. “The heads-up match went really quick, I’m still processing it and going through it. I had two huge coolers that went my way so I was fortunate enough to win the bracelet today.”

The fourth and final day of the freezeout event 24 players still vying for gold and Jaesh Balachandran leading the way, with Leng right behind him.

Despite the three tables worth of players, it only took about four hours of play to get down to the unofficial final table of 10, and only about an orbit before Balachandran was out in 10th to leave the final nine players at the final table.

Although the start-of-day chip leader technically fell short of a final table, Leng was still in contention for the lead, second behind only Mordechai Hazan.

Anthony Ortega, who was sitting eighth out of nine in chips, was on the wrong end of a cold deck to go out in ninth when he ran pocket kings into Christopher Andler’s pocket aces. There was no miracle two-outer and Ortega earned $64,490 for his efforts.

Johan Schumacher busted in eighth after he got all in preflop with AClub Suit6Spade Suit against Rafael Reis’ 6Diamond Suit6Heart Suit. Schumacher flopped a gutshot straight draw but couldn’t hit it. He hit the rail as Reis took his turn atop the chip counts.

Runner-Up Ryan LengDaniel Fortier was the next to go when he shoved all in from the cutoff with QClub Suit10Club Suit and ran into Hazan’s KClub SuitKHeart Suit. Fortier never had a sweat as the board came 8Heart Suit6Diamond Suit5Spade SuitKSpade Suit10Spade Suit and was gone in seventh.

Fortier’s departure left a clear divide in chips as Leng, who was third in chips had nearly double the amount that Andler was sitting with in fourth. At this point Noori was the clear short stack, but picked up some chips in non-showdown pots and then doubled through Hazan to trail only Reis.

Noori was all in preflop with 7Heart Suit7Diamond Suit and was in bad shape against Hazan’s JHeart SuitJClub Suit. The flop was 9Club Suit8Diamond Suit7Club Suit, however, which gave Noori a set and the best hand. The turn and river were no help for either player and for the first time, Noori was in contention for the lead, neck-and-neck with Reis.

Reis, however, was then on the wrong end of a cooler to lose the chip lead. He flopped the second nut straight with KDiamond Suit9Spade Suit on a QDiamond SuitJClub Suit10Diamond Suit flop in a limped pot against Leng’s AHeart SuitKHeart Suit. The flop was checked through, Reis bet and called a raise on the 8Club Suit turn card and check-called a big bet on the 9Heart Suit river from Leng.

Leng picked up pocket kings a couple hands later and sent Hazan packing in sixth after Hazan moved all in with KSpade SuitQSpade Suit. Leng continued steamrolling the final table when he won a flip with ASpade SuitKSpade Suit against Charlie Dawson’s 8Club Suit8Heart Suit to eliminate Dawson in fifth and have more than half of the chips in play with four players left.

Leng only extended the lead from there and had at least a 6-to-1 chip advantage over everyone else at the table.

Noori eliminated both Andler in fourth and Reis in third, however, which put a huge dent in that lead. At the start of heads-up, one double up would have completely reversed the chip counts and given Noori a 2-to-1 advantage.

And that’s exactly what happened. Noori flopped a straight against Leng’s top two pair, which put him in the lead for good. Noori finished off Leng when he picked off a semi-bluff. Leng floated a flop bet and check-raised all in on the turn on a board of 10Heart Suit6Diamond Suit4Club Suit7Club Suit with KClub Suit8Club Suit.

Noori quickly called the shove and turned over QSpade SuitQHeart Suit. The river was the 7Heart Suit, which gave Noori his bracelet and largest career score.

Final Table Results:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Michael Noori $610,347 1,320
2 Ryan Leng $377,220 1100
3 Rafael Marcondes Reis $288,101 880
4 Christopher Andler $221,289 660
5 Charlie Dawson $170,943 550
6 Mordechai Hazan $132,812 440
7 Daniel Fortier $103,784 330
8 Johan Schumacher $81,573 220
9 Anthony Ortega $64,490 110

Photo Credit: WSOP/Melissa Haereiti